I’m dealing with a slightly embarrassing inner struggle and I’m not sure who to turn to, so I’m posting this here where I’m anonymous and none of you know me. There are pros and cons of soliciting advice from strangers, but I’m not going to make a major life decision based on what is said here, I just need some outsiders’ perspectives. I’m a senior at a good but not-a-big-name university. I am researching grad schools to pursue my PhD. I am interested in a relatively tiny field of physics that not very many places are involved in; what that field is or where I’d go to participate in research is irrelevant to this particular thread. As I stated, I’m researching grad schools for next year, but with almost no motivation. My goal is to obtain my doctorate and have a career researching cool physics for NASA, and my passion is not lacking, but I am hesitant about my next move, mainly for personal reasons. As an undergrad, I found the man of my dreams and will marry him. He graduates in December and will get a job in January. His parents live an hour away, so he wants to stay in this area, or at least this state. There are many companies around here that could hire him, and I have no doubt that he’ll be hired nearly immediately. Do you see my problem already? He told me that he’d wait for me, and for a while I pretended that might work, but in all honestly I can barely stand summers away from him, let alone 5 or 6 years! Whenever I bring up the suggestion of him following me, he changes the subject. I really can’t say I blame him; he’s nervous about the hiring environment and can’t afford to be picky. It’s also a little selfish of me to ask him to start at a company in January and switch jobs or transfer only a few months later. I love where I currently am. I love my school. I love this area. I love the people here. I would be perfectly happy if my life stayed exactly how it is right now. However, is this best for my education and career? Going to grad school at the same university as undergrad seems to be looked down upon, although I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve been told it’s good to move around, but why move when I’m happy? I count myself extremely lucky to have gotten an internship this summer working in the field I am interested in. I am even luckier to have worked out an arrangement where I am working my senior research project with my summer advisor long-distance. We’re still ironing out bugs, but so far the arrangement is working really well. I am seriously thinking about asking him to be my advisor for grad school, as he previously suggested may be an option. I worry that, if I ask him, he’ll want me to go to his university. It’s a good school (roughly at the same level as my current school), but it’s 8 hours away. Could he be my grad advisor long-distance, just as he is my research advisor now? I know it would probably be better for me academically to attend a university which is doing research that I am interested in, but is it absolutely necessary? I haven’t approached him with any of these questions yet because I feel it’s premature, but I may do so in the future. As I said before, my passion is by no means lacking. If there’s a way that I can get what I want, I will do everything in my power to do it. Of course, being only an undergrad, I don’t have a lot of power, but I do have a very strong will, and I don’t like compromising important things in my life. Bottom line: love is more important to me than anything else. But I also want to do what’s best for my education and career. This may seem like the whiney ramblings of a very young girl, but I would really appreciate suggestions and advice. Thank you all!